Fall festival season is not quite over, with two more marquee fests coming in October, the New York Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival. Both take place over the first couple weeks of October, and both will feature Andrew Haigh’s new film, All of Us Strangers. The film stars Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal as neighbors who begin a romance, even as one man, played by Scott, stumbles across his dead parents, seemingly still alive and unchanged from the time of his childhood thirty years before.
Strangers got great reviews coming out of Telluride a few weeks ago, and the trailer shows why. The film looks moody and romantic and mysterious, about things strange and unknowable juxtaposed against the intimacy of being seen and known. Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal also look like a compelling screen couple, Moriarty Hot Priest matching up with Connell Waldron. The fanfic practically writes itself.
But then there’s that strange edge of what’s going on with the dead parents. Claire Foy and Jamie Bell star as the deceased duo, who seem alive but stuck in a time warp, clothes and house out of step with contemporary style. Is it all an imagining? Is it a dream? A wormhole in space-time? Past Lives is also a film that plays with time and space and intimacy, but despite the suggestive title, it’s not literal. Just based on the trailer, All of Us Strangers looks like an interesting thematic companion to Past Lives. This film is high on my must-see list for the fall, between the cast, the director—Andrew Haigh, of Looking and 45 Years fame—and the intriguing premise.
It’s easy at this stage in awards season—early, but after the trifecta of major September festivals—to declare the whole race done and dusted, the favorites locked in and most likely to win already predicted, but you have to remember how long we have yet to go, and that after production delays during the pandemic, the pipeline is overcrowded. We have been dealing with a glut of films all year, and that won’t stop in the final months of the year. I hope that smaller, less flashy dramas like All of Us Strangers don’t get lost in the shuffle.
Here's Andrew Scott and Claire Foy at the press night for Vanya in London last night.